Cablevision’s Dolan Promises Rainbow DBS Spinoff Will Take Place in Q4

Sep 28, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Cablevision Chairman and CEO James Dolan on Tuesday reiterated his company’s promise to complete the spinoff of Cablevision’s satellite business sometime in the fourth quarter, saying the cable operator is continuing to work with the Securities and Exchange Commission to obtain the necessary approval for the split.

Mr. Dolan’s comments echoed what Cablevision submitted in an SEC filing last Friday, which represented a revision of Cablevision’s earlier commitment to have completed the spinoff by the third quarter. The third quarter ends Thursday.

“We believe we are very close to achieving the spinoff,” Mr. Dolan said at a Merrill Lynch investor conference in Los Angeles Tuesday morning.

Even if the company receives SEC approval, Cablevision is a few more steps away from being able to pull the trigger, including obtaining final board approval for the split, which will combine Cablevision’s fledgling satellite business Voom with cable television channels AMC, WE: Women’s Entertainment and IFC into a separately traded company.

This development came as Wall Street reacted to Cablevision’s disclosure that three senior executives, including the company’s controller and acting principal accounting officer, had left the company. Shares tumbled 7 percent Monday on the news, but recovered somewhat in midday trading on Tuesday.

Observers were unsure what was behind the departures. While some speculated it was related to an accounting scandal uncovered last year at AMC, others suggested it was a house-cleaning move by Michael Huseby, who recently joined Cablevision from rival cable operator Charter Communications.